Search Box Here
HEALTH CAT COLUMN
DoctorGet The Most From Your DoctorSeventeen minutes - that's about all the time you'll have with your doctor during a typical visit.Your Health Getting a Second OpinionA second opinion is asking another physician or specialist to examine your case. She will then provide a diagnosis and offer treatment options. 10 Ways to Describe Your SymptomsBefore you see your doctor, refer to this list of questions to help you describe your symptoms.Your Doctor VisitMake the most of your doctor visit with these handy tips.At the Doctors Office 4 Expert TipsSeventeen minutes—that's about all the time you'll have with your doctor during a typical visit, says Dr. Davis Liu, family physician and author of Stay Healthy, Live Longer, Spend Wisely: Making Intelligent Choices in America's Healthcare System.Key Medical Terms Doctors and DisciplinesHere is a list of general terms that refer to medical experts and various disciplines. If you have any questions about medical terms during the time of your care, be sure to ask your doctor or a member of hospital staff for an explanation.Choosing a Primary Care DoctorIt is important to select a physician that will be able to meet your needs. You want a doctor who will take the time to counsel you at every visit, answer your questions and hold the same beliefs that you do regarding your medications.
HEALTH AD SPACE

Your Health: Getting a Second Opinion

A second opinion is asking another physician or specialist to examine your case. She will then provide a diagnosis and offer treatment options.

Why should I get a second opinion?

Your insurance company or employer may require you to obtain a second opinion for health insurance purposes.

You yourself might also personally want a second opinion for good measure. Another doctor might modify the diagnosis and/or treatment options, or he might reaffirm the previous physician's opinion. A second opinion can give you a piece of mind and helps you understand your healthcare choices.

Remember, the second opinion may not result in a 'better' or different diagnosis. It is your decision to make about which treatment options are best for you and your body.

When should I get a second opinion?

That is always up to you.

Most insurance plans cover second opinions. However, they might charge extra fees. Talk to your health insurance agent or review your policy before making extra doctor visits.

You may also want to consider obtaining a second opinion if you have been presented with a major diagnosis (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, infertility, etc.) or major treatment options (i.e. chemotherapy, drug therapy, surgery).

Whom should I see for a second opinion?

It may be more beneficial to visit a doctor in another health care facility or hospital, or even another town.

If it is a major diagnosis, you may want to consider seeing a specialist or a different type of specialist for a second opinion. Specialists have advanced training in certain areas and sometimes work together. Ask your doctor for referrals or a list of specialists in your area of concern.

WHN Tip: Qualified Specialist
Make sure that your second visit is from a qualified specialist. Check with DocFinder, an online physician directory, or your state's medical licensing board to see if your doctor's license is up-to-date and accurate.

WHN Tip: Get familiar
Be familiar with the parking, how to access the maternity ward, and where to go if you arrive after hours (at many hospitals you'll need to enter through the emergency room entrance).

What can I do to prepare for my second opinion visit?

Make sure you fully understand the opinion of the first doctor.

Research the treatment options and diagnosis made by your first doctor. (Questions? Contact our first doctor for answers.)

Write down the symptoms you have been experiencing.

Write down any initial questions you may have.

Write down the first diagnosis and treatment options.

What to Bring

If you are visiting a different doctor at another healthcare facility, be sure to bring copies of your medical records with you: x-rays, list of medications, immunizations, past surgeries and illnesses, allergies and your family medical history.

Bring your current health insurance card and information. You might have to bring money for a co-pay fee, depending on your health care coverage.

Bring pen and paper to take notes and a family member or friend for support, if you wish.

The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. These tips are from doctors, nurses and people who have shared their real life advice; always check with a doctor or other appropriate medical professional you trust before making any healthcare changes.

Other Health Pages
Doctor10 Ways to Describe Your Symptoms

Before you see your doctor, refer to this list of questions to help you describe your symptoms.

 Read More
At the Doctors Office 4 Expert Tips

Seventeen minutes—that's about all the time you'll have with your doctor during a typical visit, says Dr. Davis Liu, family physician and author of Stay Healthy, Live Longer, Spend Wisely: Making Intelligent Choices in America's Healthcare System.

 Read More
Choosing a Primary Care Doctor

It is important to select a physician that will be able to meet your needs. You want a doctor who will take the time to counsel you at every visit, answer your questions and hold the same beliefs that you do regarding your medications.

 Read More
Get The Most From Your Doctor

Seventeen minutes - that's about all the time you'll have with your doctor during a typical visit.

 Read More
Key Medical Terms Doctors and Disciplines

Here is a list of general terms that refer to medical experts and various disciplines. If you have any questions about medical terms during the time of your care, be sure to ask your doctor or a member of hospital staff for an explanation.

 Read More
Your Doctor Visit

Make the most of your doctor visit with these handy tips.

 Read More
Your Health Getting a Second Opinion

A second opinion is asking another physician or specialist to examine your case. She will then provide a diagnosis and offer treatment options.

 Read More